In Blair Armstrong, Stephanie Denison, Michael Mack & Yang Xu (eds.), Proceedings of the 42nd Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (2020)

Sam Clarke
University of Pennsylvania
Jacob Beck
York University
On a now orthodox view, humans and many other animals are endowed with a “number sense”, or approximate number system (ANS), that represents number. Recently, this orthodox view has been subject to numerous critiques, with critics maintaining either that numerical content is absent altogether, or else that some primitive analog of number (‘numerosity’) is represented as opposed to number itself. We distinguish three arguments for these claims – the arguments from congruency, confounds, and imprecision – and show that none succeed. We then highlight positive reasons for thinking that the ANS genuinely represents numbers. The upshot is that proponents of the orthodox view should not feel troubled by recent critiques of their position.
Keywords number sense  numerosity  approximate number system  analog magnitude system  core cognition
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Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
The Origin of Concepts.Susan Carey - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Core Systems of Number.Stanislas Dehaene, Elizabeth Spelke & Lisa Feigenson - 2004 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (7):307-314.

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